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Arthur E. Hess

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HESS, Arthur E. ARTHUR E. HESS, 89, died at his home in Charlottesville, VA on Tuesday, November 15, 2005. Known as a trailblazer in implementing both disability insurance and Medicare, Hess paved the way for the successful mid-century expansion of the Social Security Administration into the fields of disability insurance and medical care. He was Deputy Commissioner, then Acting Commissioner, of the Social Security Administration at the time of his retirement in 1974. The chief architect and first Director of the Medicare program officially enacted in 1965, Hess was widely acclaimed for achieving unprecedented cooperation and partnerships with private sector players, including hospitals, state agencies, health departments, and private insurance carriers. After retiring from the US Government, Hess served as the Director, Commission on Public General Hospitals between 1975 and 1978. He then served on various advisory committees and as an independent consultant. He was also Senior Member and Scholar-in-Residence, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences [1980-1983] and a member of the Congressional Panel on Social Security Organization [1983-1984]. He was a founding member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. In 1967 Hess won the President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service and the National Civil Service League Award. In 1969 he won the Rockefeller Public Service Award. Hess was a long-time resident of Baltimore, MD [1943-1982], with offices in Baltimore and Washington, DC during his government career. Hess lived most recently in Charlottesville, VA, where he participated in a variety of community activities, including President, Friends of the Library. Arthur Hess was born June 18, 1916 in Reading, PA, the son of Emil and Rose Hess of Wyomissing, PA. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University, and received his L.L.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of Maryland. He is survived by his wife, Jane Linn Hess, who resides in their home in Charlottesville. He was married to the former Ann McKeown Davis until her death, and is survived by their three daughters: Jean Hess Keller, Knoxville, TN; Ann Hess Smith, Gaithersburg, MD; Elizabeth Hess Smith, Hagerstown, MD. He is also survived by his sisters, Elizabeth Hess Herron, of Marysville, OH, Martha Hess Mantis, of Santa Rosa, CA, and seven grandchildren. Funeral service is private, and a graveside memorial service will be held at a later date in the Pocono Mountains at Stoddartsville, PA. Memorial contributions may be made to: Library Endowment Fund, Friends of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library, 201 E. Market Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902; Hospice of the Piedmont, 2200 Old Ivy Road, Suite 2, Charlottesville, VA 22903.
Published in Baltimore Sun on Nov. 20, 2005
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